KINGSBRIDGE, The Bronx — A beloved "bodega cat" stolen from a deli in the Bronx has been returned and reunited with the owners and their 10-year-old son.
Police said a man was caught on camera last Saturday snatching the kitten, Luna, from Ismael Gourmet Deli on West 238th Street in the Kingsbridge section.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect grabbing the kitten, paying for a soda, and fleeing the store. He was later identified as Stanley Duran, 29, of the Bronx.
Suzie Peña said her family was heartbroken over the brazen theft, specifically her 10-year-old son, Jonathan, who has autism.
"One thing that helps him, because of his sensory issues, is soft, the softness of things and cats are really soft, so he loved that she’s cuddly," Peña said.
After Peña posted about Luna’s kidnapping on Facebook, it spread like wild fire.
"I'm 2 months old and that guy in the picture stole me from my home," the bodega shared on Facebook. "I'm a very sweet kitten that loves to play with everyone, I never been outside before so my mommy is scared he will hurt me, he lured me out from under a table."
A few days later, on Thursday, the suspect showed up to the bodega with the kitten. He apologized to the family and urged them to call police.
Jonathan said he's very happy to be reunited with Luna. He said his furry friend is the first thing he sees when he wakes up and last thing he sees before he goes to bed.
Owners credit Luna’s return to "the community getting out the word on social media and of course, God."
Duran was taken into custody and charged with petit larceny.